Changes surrounding outlet mall concern local business - News, Weather & Sports

Changes surrounding outlet mall concern local business

Sketch of a section of the Outlet Shoppes at Louisville Sketch of a section of the Outlet Shoppes at Louisville
Joe Weaver Joe Weaver
Joe Weaver's BP station Joe Weaver's BP station
Andrea Clifford Andrea Clifford
Gary Skoien Gary Skoien

SIMPSONVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Excitement is growing among avid shoppers after the announcement of at least 50 new outlet stores are coming to the area. 

Leaders in Shelby County and owners of the Outlet Shoppes at Louisville broke ground Tuesday in Simpsonville where the grand opening is expected in August 2014. The land is currently a cornfield with one close neighbor, a BP gas station. The station operator wonders how the new outlet mall will affect his business. 

[Outlet mall construction begins, stores announced]

The problem for Joe Weaver isn't the outlet shops. He wants to profit off the new business. It's the changes to the roads around the mall that make him think that won't happen. 

Though small, only four spots to fill up, more than a million gallons of gas a year flow from the pumps at Weaver's BP gas station. He attributes the success of the company he runs for his father in law to one thing. 

"What I have right now is very good access," said Weaver. "Right when you get off you, see me, you see my ramp, you can get in and out. It flows right through." 

A year from now that will be gone. Customers can still drive in, but when they leave they must travel behind the station on a private road belonging to the new outlet mall. 

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said the changes are needed for accommodating the extra traffic expected when the Shoppes open in 2014. 

"We cannot allow left turn access out of the gas station there because of safety issues with crossing the number of traveled lanes to turn left," said Andrea Clifford, a KYTC spokesperson. 

Weaver believes that cripples his business. He said if the state can't give access in and out, they could move the station or buy it out. KYTC said it's not necessary.  

"The state has provided reasonable access," said Clifford. "There are state laws that state we can have limited access highways and provide property owners access via a service and that's what we've done at this point." 

The state also said they gave the gas station money for changes he has to make to the station due to the changing access. Weaver and his father-in-law said investing money in their station now is too late.  

"Now he realizes why do we build if we don't have access. This is his retirement and now it's going to be taken away." 

No matter how they're getting in and out, Gary Skoien with Horizon Group, the CEO of the new mall, says Weaver will only benefit.   

"His business will pick up dramatically I think," said Skoien.

Weaver said he talked to the federal government for help. He's waiting to hear back. He and his father-in-law say they're prepared to take the issue to court if necessary.

Copyright 2013 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

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